Automotive Underwriters Insurance Co, Inc. - Beware of Extended Warranty Companies & Their Underwiters

Posted on Wednesday, March 10th, 2010 at 3:44pm CST by bc269899

Product: Extended Warranty

Company: Automotive Underwriters Insurance Co, Inc.

Location: PO Box 3601
Englewood, Co, 80155-3601, US


Category: Other

I purchased an extended warranty for my 2000 Land Rover Discovery II on March 1, 2004. The warranty, which was underwritten by AUIC, was for full coverage for six years expiring on 3/01/10 or at 100,000 miles for a total cost of $3,302.00. The agreement number is ARA-06.1892. I chose to purchase this specific warranty because it was underwritten by AUIC and re-insured by Hartford Insurance. I thought they were reputable companies and therefore there was less chance of being scammed. Unfortunately, I was wrong.

I experienced my first major problem with the car on Saturday, January 16, 2010 (water pump). In addition, the passenger side rear door power lock had recently stopped working. Both of these items were covered under the warranty. The contract directs you to take the car back to the dealership or an authorized auto shop (but does not specify which shops are authorized) so I had it towed to Land Rover. When my dealership (Hinsdale Land Rover) first contacted AUIC, they were told my insurer went bankrupt and the contract was no longer valid even though they were the underwriter. When I contacted them directly to investigate (and informed them that I would be contacting the BBB and the Colorado Attorney General's office because I felt I had been scammed), I received a call back from Kelly (male) explaining that they had looked at "the wrong batch of policies and in fact my policy was still in effect." I then put Kelly in touch with my dealership. The dealership called shortly thereafter to inform me that although I had "full coverage," AUIC refused to pay the full cost. They only agreed to pay $663.13, which would leave a deficit of $441.66.

After making numerous calls to AUIC, I received a call back from Randy Maxwell. He informed me that the company would only pay $60 per hour for labor. When I informed him that I couldn't get a certified mechanic in my area for that amount, he insisted that the contract states that and pointed out the item in the contract where he felt it was explained. IN FACT, the contract item he directed me to states: "Diagnostic time" means the time required to determine the part(s) that have failed and is limited to one (1) hour of labor time per repair visit and a maximum of sixty dollars ($60) per repair visit." This contractual item specifically states that the company will pay $60 for diagnostic services. It does not state that they will only pay $60/per hour for repairing the vehicle. I reviewed this contract thoroughly before purchasing it and would have never purchased a $3,302.00 contract from a company that stated they would only pay $60/hour for labor on covered repairs...the cost of a certified mechanic was more than $60/hour in my area at the time of purchase. That means I would have committed to coming out of pocket with money to repair my car even though I was purchasing a full coverage warranty. That would not have made good business sense.

Randy also stated that they would pay 20% over a cost they deem reasonable for parts. As a consumer, I have NO control over what parts cost. If you apply Randy's math, the repair shop would have to agree to take a 35 - 55% reduction on their labor cost and make 20% over the cost of parts (less than 20% if AUIC feels that the parts cost are more than reasonable). Add the two together and the shop would LOSE money repairing the car. This is absolutely absurd.

I contacted the Better Business Bureau and asked for their assistance with this matter. Of course AUIC sent it to their legal department, and I began working with Mr. Al Golden. Mr. Golden started by saying I would not be reimbursed for towing and car rental if I had incurred some expenses (further evidence that their first reaction is to deny payment on covered expenses). After learning that I had in fact verified that towing and rental car charges were covered per my executed contract, they agreed to pay it. Mr. Golden went on to say that the car could have been transferred to another service shop and repaired. In all of my talks with Kelly and Randy, neither made that offer/suggestion and I didn't know that I had that option given the fact that the car would have had to be towed again (towing had to be approved by them).

After going back and forward with the company, they still refused to pay the remaining balance. So in the end, although I paid them for the security of knowing that my car could be repaired in full if I had car trouble that did not happen. It turned out that the fan was damaged when the water pump went out. So in total, I was charged $1,316.65 for repairs and towing and AUIC only agreed to reimburse me for $836.64. Their "full coverage" warranty in fact was a "60% coverage" warranty for the cost of $3,302.00!


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